Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
….Gather us in harmony – not a false unity but a
selfless and brave co-existence.
Give us hungry spirits to hear the diverse melodies
of our kin, to recognize the infinite shades of our
existence in and because of you.
We are proud of who we are because of who you are –
because who you are is refracted through us,
because who we are is a part of your body.
Pride – not the sin but the reclamation, the
reconciliation, the redemption; let that be our cloak
and your love our greatest treasure.
– “Prayer for Pride” by Reconciling Ministries Network
This prayer was shared online by Reconciling Ministries Network, in recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride Month which is celebrated throughout the month of June. Reconciling Ministries Network is a United Methodist organization dedicated to pursuing justice and inclusion for LGBTQ people, particularly within the context of their denomination.
From Our Prayers of the People
For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.
We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.
For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world: for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.
For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.
For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.
For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth.
For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sonny, Don.
For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.
For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.
For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.
For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.
For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.
For David – today is his birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean & Aruba – The Church in the Province of the West Indies.
For all who have died: Carl, Elizabeth.
For one another.
Something to share
Oh. Sorry. Hello. Are you on your way to work, too?
I was just taken aback by how you also have a briefcase,
also small & brown. I was taken by how you seem, secretly,
to love everything. Are you my new coworker? Oh. I see. No.
Still, good to meet you. I’m trying out this thing where it’s good
to meet people. Maybe, beyond briefcases, we have some things
in common. I like jelly beans. I’m afraid of death. I’m afraid
of farting, even around people I love. Do you think your mother
loves you when you fart? Does your mother love you
all the time? Have you ever doubted?
I like that the street we’re on is named after a tree,
when there are none, poplar or otherwise. I wonder if a tree
has ever been named after a street, whether that worked out.
If I were a street, I hope I’d get a good name, not Main
or One-Way. One night I ran out of an apartment,
down North Pleasant Street — it was soft & neighborly
with pines & oaks, it felt too hopeful,
after what happened. After my mother’s love
became doubtful. After I told her I liked a boy & she wished
I had never been born. After she said she was afraid
of me, terrified I might infect my brothers
with my abnormality. Sometimes, parents & children
become the most common strangers. Eventually,
a street appears where they can meet again.
Or not. I’ve doubted my own love for my mother. I doubt.
Do I have to forgive in order to love? Or do I have to love
for forgiveness to even be possible? What do you think?
I’m trying out this thing where questions about love & forgiveness
are a form of work I’d rather not do alone. I’m trying to say,
Let’s put our briefcases on our heads, in the sudden rain,
& continue meeting as if we’ve just been given our names.
– Chen Chen
News and Updates
This Sunday’s Readings:
Sunday Morning Nursery Care – We are looking to hire a new nursery manager. The position will begin in September when we will (hopefully!) return to our normal service schedule. The position would be for 2 hours each Sunday morning, with a few additional days / times required throughout the year. Pay is $25/hour. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Bethany Schuldt at email@example.com for more information.
If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning. Join us for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link: email@example.com).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer.
Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic. Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.
Our office email is: email@example.com.
We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.
Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.
Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected during the waning of the pandemic.
Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of God’s hand.
Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.